By James Santagata
Principal Consultant, SiliconEdge
"So, what, you think you're a minder read and can read minds, right?! Ha!"
I often find myself fielding this question although sometimes it's delivered in a tone of voice that conjures up images of an accusation such as "charlatan!" rather than a genuine question.
But that's okay, as it shows interest and engagement on the person asking it and once they allow me to explore a little more with them, they are usually hooked and have an "aha!" moment.
This most often occurs when I deliver the Psychological Jujutsu, Organizational Power Dynamics or Supercharged Sales training to my group classes or when I coach an individual. It seem that almost without fail, this occurs during the course of a particular exercise or coaching session when I'll cold read a person or situation or analyze a situation that is described to me and then "nail it" without ever having met the particular party in question and most often without ever having been completely privy to all facts or details surrounding the party or situation.
Examples have included individuals and situations such as the problematic office admin who went from threats of power harassment to suddenly gleefully resigning, the top salesperson who had a court order for the garnishment of his wages for payment to his former spouse and who decided to resign rather than have his money garnished to the problematic country manager who was quickly read and understood as being frightened of someone internally "taking" his job.
So the simple and honest answer to this question or perhaps the rejoinder to this accusation is, of course, I'm not a mind reader nor do I purport to be. And yet my results are there and they are what they are with them being more often than not extremely uncanny in their accuracy.
The most important insight from my work and research that I try to impart to my students, clients and skeptics is that you don't need to be a mind reader to be accurate in your reading of a situation because in most cases the party in question through their actions, reactions and inactions almost to a tee loudly and graphically telegraphs exactly what they are thinking and how they are thinking as well as their intentions.
They also communicate this through both their acts of omission (including benign neglect and mindful tarpitting) as well as through acts of commission. In some cases the acts maybe overt in nature and in other cases covert.
It matters not.
Sometimes, I'll wait to passively receive this silhouette and then begin to outline their profile, but more often than not I do as I advise all my students and clients -- make like sonar and make like radar by actively and continually pinging and painting your environment and targets.
It's that simple.
And you should use this daily until it becomes a root kit script -- one that requires no conscience deployment or utilization, and one that becomes as internalized, integrated and critical to your very survival as breathing.
By James Santagata
Principal Consultant, SiliconEdge
Outside of questions pertaining to SiliconEdge's training and coaching services, two of the most common questions people ask us have to do with our company name.
Is there a particular meaning attached to the name? And if so, what is the philosophy behind it?
Simply stated SiliconEdge represents two concepts.
First, it represents the physical edge of Silicon Valley -- the millions and millions of miles of inhabited space where entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial skills and knowledge have been rapidly diffusing or have already diffused and the exciting innovation and creativity that have been taking place or are about to take place outside of the Valley as well as outside of the United States.
Second, and mostly importantly, if we accept Silicon Valley to be the mecca of technology, creativity, innovation and risk taking, then this "edge" is the next step, the next evolution of this mecca; not a physical edge but a philosophical edge.
To me, it's been very clear that this next evolutionary step is a philosophical shift in recognizing and optimizing the human element and the strategic element and nowhere will this become more true and more important than in the Valley which is increasing becoming a "post-tech" world although very few seem aware of this fact. This shift means that business and people will soon need to recognize that most of the problems they face are not technical or financial in nature but human (we address this in great detail).
To be sure, the intrinsic importance and value of the human element is not new and it has always been of critical importance even when it has gone unrecognized. And due to a number of factors the actual importance of the human element has often been masked, misinterpreted and even when it's been recognized the response has often been to simply address it with platitudes.
A common example of this is found in the expression, "Necessity is the mother of all invention".
Is this really the case? We think not.
To us, this human element relates to being able to most effectively and efficiently select, acquire, develop, deploy, motivate, manage and retain the right people necessary for your business to reach or exceed its objectives and goals as well as ensuring your continued competitiveness and viability in the fast moving, global business environment that is today's reality.
More specifically, the concrete skill sets that now provide the largest ROI and ROL for companies (and individuals) include:
Beyond this human element, the essence and philosophy of SiliconEdge is to always question the official narrative as to why a particular person, company, product or strategy was "successful" or "failed" and to identify and unpack the most powerful myths and memes to find the real lessons to be learned.
What Is A Working Environment & Why Is It So Important? (Part 1) (Kim Pedersen / Roukan.com)
What Is Working Environment & Why Is It So Important? Part 1
By Kim Pedersen (Guest Blogger)
Today's guest blogger is Kim Pedersen. Kim is an expert in Japan business and global working environments and the founder of Roukan.com (Roukan.jp localized for the Japanese market) as well as a member of the High-Impact Coaching Alliance's advisory board.
Why Is Working Environment (WE) So Important?
Well, the simple answer to this question is that it has a huge impact on a company’s profits. If a profitable organization is important to you then you should pay careful attention to your company's WE. This is just one of the reasons why WE is so important.
Another reason for its importance is that it influences an employee’s well-being to a very high degree. From a corporate standpoint, depending on how you understand and manage WE you can either increase the profitability and competitiveness of your company or you can risk being potentially sued and/or losing money through lack of employee engagement and reduced productivity, absenteeism and so on.
The funny thing about WE is that depending on which path you choose you will either receive all of the positive effects or all of the negative effects. There seems to be no middle ground in regards to WE. In practice, this means that you can choose to have very satisfied employees, a good working environment and higher productivity and profits or you can choose to have very unsatisfied employees, a bad working environment and the chance of litigation and resultant lower profits.
So what is your choice going to be?
The choice shouldn't be that hard, but it does seem to be the case that in the real world the choice is hard. As a result, many companies choose not to focus on WE and even more companies continue to associate and do business with vendors and subcontractors who operate under a bad WE.
What Exactly Is Working Environment?
WE is practically everything that influences the workplace, ranging from physical elements which can include equipment, buildings, air quality, desks, computers and so on. It is also about emotional and psychological elements such as work enjoyment (psychic pleasure), the meaningfulness of the work, stress levels, the level or intensity of power harassment, ability to influence one's work, predictability, perceived fairness and so on. There are a lot of elements that together form working environment experienced by each employee. Some elements are common to all employees while other elements are or can be different from one employee to another.
What Is The Impact Of The Working Environment?
As previously mentioned, WE has a huge impact, either positive or negative, on a variety of elements which impact the company's productivity and financial performance. For instance, good WE can have an impact on employees, so they feel strong loyalty to the company, or they feel that they want to give it their all. Better WE means more responsible employees and more engaged employees. If the WE is experienced positively, the company might even avoid law suits from employees who would have filed a law suit if the WE was bad through the goodwill that has been established. On the other hand, bad WE often results in stress, frustrations and uncertainty leading to less engagement and thus less productive employees. In the worst case bad WE can result in direct negative income for the company.
Which Working Environment Elements Have The Largest Impacts?
Well, this is very difficult to say. It depends very much on what the employee’s experiences of the present WE are. However, in many countries, improvement of the mental working environment has been demonstrated to have an extremely good effect on the WE, and best of all, it doesn't even cost much to improve it! In many cases there are no good reasons NOT to improve the mental WE. And if we ignore it, it can be very costly in both human suffering and financial losses or hits.
How Do You Identify Those Areas That Will Yield The Greatest ROI For Th Lowest Capital Investment?
As company, there is no doubt that you want to keep the cost of any improvements as low as possible especially given the current economic situation. However, the good news is that you actually have all the information necessary to make these improved right now, within your own company. The persons who knows the most about your WE is your very own employees. Therefore, the very best way of finding the most cost-effective way of improving your working environment is actually to poll your own staff members to share their honest opinions.
As simple as it sounds, this can be a very difficult task and although it varies from country to country, we have found that usually the worse the WE becomes, the more difficult it is to received honest opinions on the WE from the employees. The reason is that often they are simply afraid to be identified as the one individual complaining about a certain issue. Even in companies with excellent or fairly good WE, employees can be very reticent about being fully honest about what they want improved, as there are always risks associated for any employee who would be bold enough to criticize the current WE. At least until now.
One Solution: Roukan.com / Roukan.jp
Roukan.com provides an opportunity for your employees to give their completely honest opinions about the different aspects of your company's WE. They don’t have to worry that their responses will be associated with them and then passed on to the company so they can be honest and introspective. We collect the survey response and then analyze and summarize the responses into powerful but anonymized charts. This way, it is easy for everyone to see where the problem lies while ensuring that an individual cannot be identified. Further, we will find the critical issues that are mentioned again and again by more than one individual and from it suggest improvements for your company.
There is a world of difference in what the results will yield depending on whether you focus on what a consultant tells you he thinks the problem is and what the actual workers tells you the problem is. Roukan.com supplies you with the highest quality information as it comes from the very source of the people experiencing the WE in your company on a daily basis.
SiliconEdge™ helps catalyze and drive the Productivity, Performance, Profitability, and Peace of Mind (4P's) of organizations, talent, and teams through our innovative, results-driven Talent Acceleration, Optimization, and Transformation programs.
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